Friday, February 21, 2014

Facebook Morality Apostles

It disturbs me deeply to see some of my Facebook artist friends get repeatedly into trouble by having their artwork flagged by those self-appointed morality-apostles that have nothing better to do than visiting artist pages in order to flag what they deem 'inappropriate' content.

Michelangelo - David

Plain and simple, this is a form of harassment that should at least be filtered as to whether the 'complaints' are actually warranted. 
As it stands, warnings and take-downs happen automatically without much recourse. Blocking and banning such people does not help any: they can still have access to your public pages and continue their harassment unabated, albeit they can no longer post comments once you block them (if indeed you can find out who it is in the first place). 
There really is no protection against such - and let me make this perfectly clear, lest you think this does not affect you: one can flag ANYTHING as 'inappropriate' and Facebook response is automatic and handled by a robot. Complain about it and all you get is a reply that is also just a formulated auto reply.

UPDATE:  In some instances a complaint about a post on facebook is referred to a outsourcing company called oDesk - to learn more about what this could mean to you (and your privacy), read this article by Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor, The Telegraph:




One instance I remember a picture of Michelangelo's David had been flagged (on another network that was supposed to be a art site!) so these morality-sniffers are all over the internet.

This is a ongoing problem, and I had posted about this subject before, several years ago (Wednesday, October 1, 2008):



Joos van Cleve - Virgin and Child, 1525

While back then my trongue-in-cheek response was humorous (read MORE HERE), after all this time I cannot find any humor in the insane actions that continue to haunt sites such as facebook!

While I myself had been flagged on facebook once before for posting this picture, titled 'Godina' by fellow artist
Dragan Ilić Di Vogo - Godina

the latest artist to fall victim to the "facebook morality squad" is my friend PETER GRIC - a 'signature work' of his that currently hangs in the Phantasten Museum in Vienna, simply called 'Angel' has been flagged and a take-down noticed sent. Potentially the repercussions might be serious, since Peter had been a co-administrator of the Visionary Art Page on which the above painting by di Vogo was posted, and so he had also been warned about this before (though it was I that posted it) - therefore, he is deemed a 'repeat offender'.

PETER GRIC - Metamorphosis III (Angel)
We live in sad and disturbing times indeed. Even the Victorian Age was more tolerant than this!

ANOTHER UPDATE: I found this great article on Gawker, titled 

How Facebook Lets Whining Trolls Censor Everyone



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